Tips to Protect Your Pet Against Theft

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—In response to reports of a possible increase in thefts of pets nationwide, The Humane Society of the United States reminds pet owners that there are simple steps you can take to keep your pets safe.

“The Humane Society of the United States urges pet owners to be aware of where the animals are at all times,” said Inga Fricke, director of sheltering and pet care issues for The HSUS. “Losing a pet is a devastating experience and we urge people to take these extra precautions to ensure the safety of their pets.”

Never leave your pet outdoors unattended. Your pet should be safely indoors at all times, and should always be within your sight or earshot when outdoors.

When outdoors, your dog should be in a securely fenced yard. Pets who normally stay near home can become frightened, or enticed to leave by an interesting sight or smell, and may not be able to find their way home – they may not be technically stolen, but are gone nevertheless.

Always check to ensure that fence gates are securely closed before allowing your dog outdoors, and regularly check for holes in or under the fencing that a dog could slip through.

Never leave your pet tied outside a store or alone in a car, even if you will be inside for just a minute. A well-meaning individual may actually believe your pet has been abandoned, and take her away in an attempt to ensure her safety.

Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and ID tag with your current contact information included. It is a good idea to microchip your pet, and put the tag that identifies the microchip company and ID number on her collar.

Build a pet-friendly network of neighbors who can monitor suspicious activity in your neighborhood and intervene if they see your pet walking with a stranger.

Report a missing pet immediately to police and animal control authorities, and mobilize your neighborhood to help search for her.